Using a portable radio as your primary radio

While the general consensus is that portable radios don’t belong as a primary source, there are still plenty of aircraft out there that don’t have radios at all. Some were manufactured without electrical systems. Others might be homebuilt ultralights or Light Sport Aircraft. The question we like to ask: “Is a portable radio setup better than no radio at all?” The resounding answer is “yes.” 

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Sidetone in aviation headsets: what is it and how does it work?

Pilots like to hear themselves talk. Well, at least my wife says we do. This is especially true when transmitting radio communications. This is known as sidetone. When we press the push-to-talk (PTT) switch, not only does the world get to hear my amazingly professional voice, I get to hear it too. You won’t find sidetone on cell phones or gaming headsets, but it’s common, if not expected, in aviation.

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General aviation trends for 2022

What will 2022 bring for pilots? Hopefully tailwinds and smooth rides, but as we turn the page on another busy year at Sporty’s, we thought it was the perfect time to look back at 2021 and offer some thoughts on the general aviation market, at least as we see it from Batavia, Ohio.

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Fast Five year in review—2021

Sporty's Fast Five is one of aviation's most popular email newsletters. Every Saturday morning, we deliver five interesting articles and one video to your inbox (you can sign up here). It's a quick way to stay up to date, with tips for safer flying, tricks for using the latest gear, and interesting aviation debates. We published 52 editions of Fast Five in 2021, with hundreds of articles, dozens of video tips, and even a few new product announcements. Here are some highlights.

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Smart TV apps—the best way to watch aviation videos

Slowly but surely, the big screen in your living room has evolved from an old fashioned tube to a powerful computer, capable of running thousands of apps. Sporty’s Pilot Training app is a great example: for 2022, we’re proud to announce support for five different smart TV platforms, covering more than 95% of Americans. It’s truly a cross-device app—from your iPhone to your Android tablet to your Amazon Fire TV, Pilot Training is there to help you become a better pilot. If you haven’t tried it on your TV yet, now is the perfect time. In fact, watching flying videos on your 4K TV is probably the best way to absorb complicated aviation topics.

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Which iPad do I have?

If you're shopping for a mount or kneeboard you'll quickly have to answer the question, "which iPad do I have?" It's not as simple as it might sound, so if you're not sure which model you have, you're not alone. Please note that we loathe the naming convention Apple has chosen for the iPads as much as you do. It’s difficult to be sure which iPad you have but if you need to look that information up here’s how you do so.


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A closer look at Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D flight simulator software

While Microsoft Flight Simulator enjoys the notoriety of being the most popular title and X-Plane has been called the most realistic simulation platform, Prepar3D is being used by home simmers for some of the most precise, in-depth simulation that’s happening—alongside its government, military, and commercial flight training applications. In this article, we’ll look at Prepar3D’s history, its role in the home flight simulation market, and the effect it is having on military, government, and civilian flight training.

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Comparing Microsoft Flight Simulator and X-Plane (part 1)

The purpose of this three part blog is to grade Microsoft Flight Simulator versus X-Plane on a wide range of features. Each program has its strengths as well as its weaknesses and it’s worth researching those before financially committing to a software trainer. Edition one of this blog will focus on the differences you need to know before buying either program. 

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What's new in Sporty's 2022 courses

Sporty’s courses have helped over 100,000 pilots learn to fly, and are famous for their relentless pace of innovation. Every year, we add new content, new training tools, and technological enhancements. This year is no exception, with a host of upgrades that make training more engaging and more efficient. Here’s a look at some highlights.

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